All coastal cities along the U.S. seaboard and, around the world are subject to severe storms, tsunamis and, flooding from rising seas. Some wealthy disaster Preppers are building and, seeking membership fees from others, to be sheltered in their underground communities when catastrophe strikes. Most average pay wage earning families cannot afford their fees. However, in my book ?The Citizen?s Guide to Disaster Preparedness and Aftermath Survival,? I suggest that those people who have the disaster evacuation option of using their pleasure boat as a transportation means of avoiding highway gridlock, should seriously consider including that in their contingencies. Many middle income Americans living in coastal communities may fit that description yet, many others do not. What if another, better contingency could be made that is similar to an underground shelter but not quite and, at a cost an average American wage earner could afford? Being an old Sailor myself and, one who has retained much skill concerning how to operate large seagoing vessels in Inland, Intracoastal and, International waters, I want to pose a question to the disaster Preppers in this discussion group. I know that, some people can?t even visualize themselves having their feet off of Terra Firma for more than a pleasure cruise or, relatively short plane trip to one place or another but others, have less fear when it comes to survival. The question is: If instead of the conventional plans to bug-out to land-based sheltering areas (i.e. public shelters, relatives, motels, FEMA shelters), which of you would choose the alternative of sheltering aboard something like a modified cargo or, other medium to large size ship before or, after a major disaster?
Now, to answer that question with some thoughtfulness it is only reasonable and fair that, I present a set of both positive and, negative points about making this choice. So here are some (but not all) things to consider:
1. By pre-planning, a civilian group funded ship could arrive to evacuate membership owning families from a coastal port before an expected disaster strikes.
2. In unexpected disasters a specified civilian owned ship could arrive to evacuate membership owning families from disaster areas after one occurs.
3. Ships are capable of avoiding many disasters and, are not subject to others (e.g. earthquakes are not felt at sea and, tsunamis are not experienced in deep waters). Rogue waves are very rare and, can be overcome by sturdy ships with experienced crews.
4. Many large ships are already designed for crew and, compliment food service, medical facilities and, can be easily modified to offer exercise space, childcare space, entertainment and, recreational communications areas.
5. If evacuation is not necessary, the ship could arrive to deliver needed, pre-stored supplies to membership families ashore. This would eliminate the necessity to compete for Red Cross or, other NGO services against the mass of other people in need.
6. If permanent relocation was required, a transition from mobile ship platform to, temporary lodging then, to permanent lodging may offer a smoother path.
1. Participants would need to surrender any firearms for storage in an onboard armory upon arrival.
2. Shipboard membership compliments would likely not know each other upon arrival which could cause tensions if at sea for more than a week.
3. Shipboard membership compliments would likely be assigned daily tasks or assignments for operation and maintenance of the ship while aboard.
4. Shipboard membership evacuees would need to surrender their authority to the ships? Captain but, remain an active part of making the ship a home away from home (not just passengers), until it is safe to return to homeport.
5. The longer the ship is away from its homeport of disaster, the greater onboard rationing of supplies will reduce comfort.
What do you think?